Do you have a fabulous, attention grabbing — yet professional — LinkedIn photo? Or does your photo honestly...suck?
Your profile picture is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn presence. Whether you're a Recruiter looking for talent or a potential employee searching for a new job, that little profile photo is your first impression, and it needs to be a good one. "It’s your first chance to communicate that you are friendly, likeable, and trustworthy," says LinkedIn publisher Lydia Abbot. But does one photo really matter? Entrepreneur.com says,
Unlike eras past, it now only takes a few seconds and a handful of poorly chosen pixels to handicap your career ambitions. Whether we realize it or not, we make instantaneous judgments about every person and image we see — and the same is true for recruiters and others getting their first impressions from what we put online.
So how do you maximize your first impression ROI and upload a fabulous looking LinkedIn photo? Here are five dos and don'ts when it comes to professional photos:
LinkedIn Photo DOs
- DO get a professional photo taken
Yes it costs money, but consider it an investment in your career. Many headshot photographers offer social media packages at reasonable rates.
- DO choose a photo that looks like you
Make sure people who online stalk you before you meet know what you look like. Do you wear glasses every day? Then wear them in your photo.
- DO dress like you're at the office
The best attire for a LinkedIn photo? What you would normally wear to work. Dress like the profession you're in, or hope to be in. Pick a flattering color and go easy on the accessories, you want your sparkling personality to be the focus of the photo.
- DO look confident and pleasant
Think like Entrepreneur.com and ask yourself — if you were looking for a new employee or recruiting a leader for a company, would you hire the person in the photo?
- DO fill up the frame
You want the photo focus to be on you. A good rule of thumb is to fill up 60% of the photo with yourself. While it's great that you climbed that mountain or went to the beach, we don't need to see a wide shot with a tiny person in it. Skip complicated backgrounds and fill the frame from the shoulders up.
LinkedIn Photo DON'Ts
- Don't skip posting a photo entirely
You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a photo, says Forbes. Plus, if you don't have one, it looks suspicious. "Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong." A photo also helps differentiate you if you have a common name like "Bob Taylor," as there could be several people with the same name.
- Don't post a selfie
Even if it's a not stereotypical "duckface" selfie, pictures taken by yourself are usually pretty obvious. If you don't want to pay for professional photos, ask a shutterbug friend to help.
- Don't include others
LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams says "no dog, no husband, no baby." Avoid the faux pas of cropping someone out or including other people or pets in your photos. Connections and recruiters want to instantly know who they're connecting with.
- Don't use an old photo
While it's natural to want to use a photo of yourself looking your best, Business Insider points out, "a person might use a photo of themselves from ten years ago. However, once they call you in for an interview, the jig is up. An interviewee might feel slighted due to your bait and switch campaign."
Don't use filters
A LinkedIn photo is not the place for fancy Instagram-style photos or unusual crops. Stick with well-lit, straightforward shots.
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